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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second edition essentially the same as the first
For the past decade Gerhard Weinberg's 'A World at Arms' has stood as the best single-volume history of the Second World War. Encyclopedic in its scope and sure in its many judgements, it is a breathtaking work that reflects the considerable erudition of its author, who has spent decades studying the conflict. Yet Weinberg's book was bound to suffer...
Published on 7 Jan 2006 by MarkK

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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, thank you very much.
I was very much looking forward to reading a historical narrative on World War II. I chose to read Weinberg's attempt.

It was quite late in the day when I initially started to read this book so I considered my tiredness to be the cause of my inability to follow the prose. I continued to read nonetheless and I found the content to be beyond the scope of my...
Published on 18 May 2012 by Sean Tyler


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second edition essentially the same as the first, 7 Jan 2006
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MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
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For the past decade Gerhard Weinberg's 'A World at Arms' has stood as the best single-volume history of the Second World War. Encyclopedic in its scope and sure in its many judgements, it is a breathtaking work that reflects the considerable erudition of its author, who has spent decades studying the conflict. Yet Weinberg's book was bound to suffer from the passage of time, especially in a field as heavily researched as that of World War II. When I discovered that a new edition was due to be published, I looked forward to reading it and seeing how the revelations of the past decade has altered a book for which I have developed such respect.
Having read the book, my reaction is one of disappointment. While Weinberg has included a new nine-page preface that examines the work that has been done since the publication of the first edition, no great changes have been made to the rest of the work itself. The bulk of the book is simply a page-for-page reprinting of the original edition, with no notable editions either to the text or the notes. Because of this, some statements that were sound in 1994 are now dated; his lamentation for a reliable edition of Field Marshal Alanbrooke's diaries, for example, fails to take into account the publication of Alex Danchev's superb edition in 1998. This is the only reason why I give the new edition four stars instead of five, and I hope that readers take this into account when deciding whether or not to pay the not-inconsiderable amount for the new edition, especially if they have what is essentially the same book in their collection already.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, thank you very much., 18 May 2012
This review is from: A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (Paperback)
I was very much looking forward to reading a historical narrative on World War II. I chose to read Weinberg's attempt.

It was quite late in the day when I initially started to read this book so I considered my tiredness to be the cause of my inability to follow the prose. I continued to read nonetheless and I found the content to be beyond the scope of my criticism. But the writing style continued to be irksome.

Unfortunately, sleep did not help with my struggle against this convoluted narrative. I find the writer's unnecessarily long sentences hinders my attempts to follow the narrative, and the unfamiliar style of these sentences seems to be purposefully complex. They are riddle with an excessive amount of clauses and cluttered with the random placement of adverbial phrases. Weinberg's style seems to be a failed attempt to write in a highly rhetorical manner. Perhaps the book is not aimed at folk like me and is intended for those who have pursued a career in historical research, but nonetheless I have read a decent amount of history and found this book to be inaccessible. I would not recommend it and give it three stars on the basis of the obvious quality, if one gets past the confusing prose, of the content the book contains.
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A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II
A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II by Gerhard L. Weinberg (Paperback - 28 Mar 2005)
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